As I’m sure everyone reading this already knows, Rand Paul is going to have hernia surgery in a Canadian hospital. The political left is absolutely up in arms about this, as if it proves that Rand Paul’s libertarian ideology is so off-base that he doesn’t even follow it himself, in his own life. They make it sound like Rand Paul is about libertarianism only when it reduces his taxes, and is for socialism when he needs something he does not want to pay for himself.
Let us delve, for a moment, into a realm I like to call, ‘the truth,’ to see why this whole uproar really is hilarious. Spoiler alert: it’s not for the reasons the left thinks…
The truth is that Rand Paul is going to a private hospital in Canada that only does hernia surgery. This hospital does not take government payments for services – it operates strictly on a cash basis. And it charges $8,000 for a hernia repair.
Some leftists are pointing out that a hernia costs much more than $8,000 to repair in the United States. I would like to ask them how they know that when it is illegal in the United States for any hospital, or doctor, who receives any form of payment from the government, to publicly share their pricing (which would not be the case if we had anything resembling a free market in healthcare). That would be facetious of me, however, because even though it is true that hospitals cannot share pricing, studies do show what hernia surgery in the United Sates costs. Guess what? Hernia repair in the United States is just as cheap as it is in that Canadian hospital.
I would like to ask Dr. Paul why he is going to Canada, to get a hernia repair for $8,000, when he could go to a free market surgery clinic in Oklahoma, and get hernia surgery for as little as $3,200. My guess is that it is because the hospital Dr. Paul chose only does hernia surgery. Hernia surgery being the only service they offer, they are probably really good at it.
There is no question that free market healthcare is better, and cheaper, than is non free-market healthcare, but those on the left who realize that Dr. Paul is going to a free-market hospital (and not a socialized hospital), are actually making the argument that the price tag of $8,000 proves that socialized medicine works. Their specific argument is that ‘private pricing is lower when private providers have to compete with a public option.’ They say this when the private hospital in Canada charges more than twice what a free-market clinic in the United States charges, and when ‘cheaper because it has to compete with a public option’ costs the same amount as the typical hospital in the United States.
In other words, the stories about Rand Paul going to Canada turn into blatant lies as soon as you read past the headline, even when they are admitting that the hospital Dr. Paul is going to is as close to free-market as Canada allows any hospital to be.
Now.. For the record.. There are forms of surgery where free market clinics cost as little as a tenth what normal hospitals charge, for the same surgery. In other words, free-market healthcare would cost the typical American about half their co-pay, after insurance covers 80% of the bill, but hernia repair is not one of those surgeries. Hernia repair is only about 2-3 times more in a regular hospital, than it would be in a true free market.
Think about how hilarious it is that supporters of socialized medicine would use the need for a private hospital as proof that socialized medicine is better. If socialized medicine worked, there would be NO NEED for a private hospital specializing in hernia surgery. This hospital only exists because Canadians cannot GET hernia surgery under their socialized system.
Only a leftist could call that a success story…
If you want real healthcare reform, read Rand Paul’s healthcare solution. The only solution that would beat Rand Paul’s would be to get government out of healthcare entirely, other than as the provider of last resort, for those who truly cannot afford medical care on their own.